H.E. Mauricio Rodriguez Munera
Assassinations of Colombian Trade Unionists
On behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) representing British workers and the 6.2 million members of our affiliated unions I regret that I have to write once again to raise our concerns in the strongest possible terms over the assassinations of two more trade unionists in Colombia in recent weeks:
- Nelson Camacho Gonzalez, a member and activist of the oil industry's united workers' union USO (Union Sindical Obrera) was shot dead as he waited at a bus stop on his way to work on 16 June. His union is currently involved in a series of disputes with major multinational companies.
- Teachers' union activist Ibio Efren Caicedo was assassinated on the 19 June in Antioquia. He was the 7th unionised teacher to be killed there this year.
Your government has gone to great pains to argue that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of trade unionists being assassinated. Tragically the facts on the ground continue to contradict this.
The ongoing killings - which as we have already highlighted this year are continuing to run at the rate of almost one a week - indicate that contrary to the assurances given by the Colombian Government to the international community, little is being done to safeguard the lives of trade union members and activists in Colombia, or investigate and prosecute such murders.
I must again restate our position that until this situation is rectified, the British trade union movement will continue to urge our own Government to end their political and military support for the Colombian Government and oppose the signing of any bilateral trade agreements between the EU and Colombia.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding what measures are being taken to find and prosecute the murderers in these cases.
Issued: 13 July, 2010